Fidelia Eleanor Manzanares, 89, passed away peacefully in her sleep at her family ranch in Los Silvestres, just west of Abiquiú, on August 1, 2022. She was surrounded by family, prayers, and music.
Fidelia was born to Cordelia Laumbach Maes and Fermín Maes in a small cabin in Las Nutrias, NM on March 30, 1933. She was one of seven children and grew up in the little mountain town of Canjilón, NM.
Fidelia was a trailblazer. Upon finishing high school, Fidelia pursued a nursing degree at Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS. As a registered nurse, she spent her career at the Española Health Department caring for the community and making strides in improving women’s health. She also served her childhood home of Canjilón and surrounding communities in northern New Mexico through her work at the clinic in Los Ojos/Parkview. Throughout her life, Fidelia was a survivor who met life’s challenges with grace, strength, and love.
Having attended high school together, Fidelia re-met the love of her life, Herman Manzanares Sr., at a Valentine’s Day dance in 1956. They were married on November 24th of that year. Together, they made their life on the family ranch for nearly sixty years, surrounded by their family and friends.
Fidelia was a loving person, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, tía, prima, comadre, madrina, and friend. She loved taking long walks on the ranch, reading, gardening, basketball, lavender, hummingbirds, elephants, sunflowers, and sharing memories & music with her family. She enjoyed her friendship with the artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, and looked forward to their visits together. Fidelia also spent many years singing with her husband in the choir at the Santo Tomás Catholic Church in Abiquiú for countless rosaries, funerals, weddings, and community events. As a longtime member of La Sagrada Familia, she was devoted to her faith.
Fidelia was preceded in death by her parents, Cordelia & Fermín Maes; her husband, Herman Manzanares Sr.; her daughters, Dr. Patricia Manzanares-Gonzales & Joan Maxine Therese Manzanares; and her siblings, Joseph Maes and Pedro M. Maes. She is survived by her sons and their families: Herman Jr. & Pamela Manzanares, and Shae, Tyrel, Maxine, and Herman III and his family; Daniel & Eleanora Manzanares, and Fermín; David & Andrea Manzanares, and Maximiño; Michael Manzanares, Chris Speight and his family, Darren Speight, and Savannah, Isabella, Isaac, Andrew, and Lelia Manzanares; and Patricia’s children: Pilar Gonzales Wennrich, her husband Joshua, and their children Lydia and Jorin; and Vidal Gonzales and his children Isabella and Olivia. Fidelia is also survived by her many cousins, nieces, nephews, and other parentela, whom she loved dearly. Finally, Fidelia is survived by her sisters, Helena Vigil, Lorraine De Herrera (Alfonso), and Margarita Mouer; her brother, Adolfo Maes; her sister-in-law Lita Hebert; and her sister-in-law and madrina Clara Maes; and all their families.
Fidelia lived her life with love, compassion, purpose, and generosity towards others. We will miss her and love her forever.
May the blessing of God be upon you, the blessing of the Father and the Son (and the Mother); and may the spirit of God, the spirit of love and peace, go with you on your way.
The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Andre De Souza E. Melo and his team at Presbyterian Española for their care and support.
A rosary and funeral mass will be held on Saturday, September 17th at the Santo Tomas Church in Abiquiú. A burial of Fidelia and Herman Sr Manzanares will take place following the service at the Abiquiú Cemetery. A reception will follow (the location will be announced).
The family has entrusted the care of their loved one to the DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley. 505-747-7477 - www.devargasfuneral.com